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Rapport de pays: Ecuador

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18 nov. 2015

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Rafael Uzcategui is a Venezuelan conscientious objector, author, and human rights activist who has been active with War Resisters' International, and in antimilitarism more generally, for many years. Here, he summarises the main tendencies of the Latin American conscientious objection movement, and details how his own nonviolent anarchist position fits into this picture.

During the eighties, many Latin American countries were living under military dictatorships or suffering the consequences of civil war. These were also the days of the Cold War, during which the US considered Latin America one of its 'zones of influence': almost like a back garden. The traumatic and progressive democratisation process meant that broad swathes of the continent's youth developed an antimilitarist sentiment, which began to take on an organised and political dimension. As an adolescent at the beginning of the nineties in Barquisimeto, a town 5 hours away from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, my peers and I had to hide ourselves twice a year for fifteen days, to avoid compulsory military service. Otherwise they would seize us on the streets and, without wasting words, force us into a truck, with others just as terrified, and from there take us to the barracks. For many of us, these forced recruitment raids or 'press gangs' were the starting point for our rejection of authority and of the military uniform.

31 mars 2008

The Ibero-American Convention on Young People's Rights, which entered into force on 1 March 2008, explicitly recognises the right to conscientious objection. Article 12 of the Convention reads: "Young people have the right to form a conscientious objection against compulsory military service." It also includes a commitment of states to create legal instruments to safeguard this right, and to progressively end compulsory military service.

31 août 2007

On 27 June 2007, the Constitutional Tribunal of Ecuador decided about the constitutionality of the military service law of the country.

31 mai 2007

A case of conscientious objection from Ecuador has been admitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  The case has been filed by Xavier Leon, an active member of the Ecuadorian conscientious objectors' movement.

21 avr. 1998

1 Conscription

conscription exists

Art. 168 of the Constitution states that "Military service is compulsory for Ecuadorians in the form determined by law." The 15 September 1994 Law on Compulsory Military Service regulates military service. Recently, on 15 August 1997, a new regulation on the application of this law was issued (Reglamento de aplicaci--n a la ley de Servicio Militar Obligatorio).